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Defeating Dementia: From Microscopes to Music

Step-free access with accessible toilets
Past event - 2024
15 May Doors 7pm
Event 7.30-9.30pm
The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill,
London SW12 9HD
Tonight, meet two scientists who are using human cells and music to better understand and treat dementia! Be ready to get some hands on experience with our microscopes during the break - or just sit back and relax with a pint.

The skin cell that mistook itself for a brain: cell models to study Alzheimer’s disease

Dr Tatiana A. Giovannucci (Alzheimer’s Association Research Fellow to Promote Diversity)
Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are caused by the death of brain cells. To understand why these cells die and develop new treatments, we need a model of disease that we can study in the lab. However, would you volunteer a piece of your brain for the task? … I wouldn’t! This talk will first discuss how we are using skin cells from patients with genetic forms of dementia to convert them into brain cells. We will then get to know about several projects aiming at understanding the causes of dementia, testing new treatments and improving the diagnosis of the disease using these models. There will be cells, microscopes and other weird lab stuff to interact with – all over a pint!

Music and Dementia

Lucy Core (PhD student, Brain Behaviour Group @ UCL Dementia Research Centre)
Music is often said to have the power to move people and has anecdotally been shown to energise and engage people with dementia. But what is it about music that makes it able to do this? In order to answer this question, it is important to understand what happens in the brain when we listen to music and how this relates to brain changes caused by dementia. I will discuss how different forms of dementia can lead to striking changes in emotional reactions to music, intense musical aversions or cravings, as well as remarkable musical skills despite other cognitive problems. Finally, I will showcase how understanding the musical brain can help with the development of music interventions and therapies.
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